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Grateful Dead Live at The Centrum on 1983-10-21

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Grateful Dead Live at The Centrum on 1983-10-21

Topics Live concert

The Music Never Stopped, Loser, CC Rider-> Cumberland Blues, Cassidy, Ramble On Rose, My Brother Esau, Big Railroad Blues-> Promised Land Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Uncle John's Band-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> Truckin'-> Wharf Rat-> I Need A Miracle-> Touch Of Gray, E: Johnny B. Goode

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue The Centrum
Location Worcester, MA

Source Master Tapes by Ficca and Brennan. Source: Ficca FOB Sony TCD5M with 2 Beyer Dynamic 160's -> Sony CDRW-66>EAC>CDWave>SHN. Encoded by Jake Markezin
Taped by
Transferred by


FOB Sony TCD5M with 2 Beyer Dynamic 160's recorded by Ficca and Brennan encoded by Jake Markezin


Reviewer: jjg4762 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 26, 2014
Subject: 1983 scarlet / fires
For me there are a few other scarlet fires that rank up there just as much any other. Take the Park West Scarlet Fire and the Rocks Scarlet Fire. Are more but am not in the mood to keep writing. 4 stars only cause I enjoy the more mellow crowd shows I attended because I love when the band seemed to play to the tour heads. Only my thinking
Reviewer: kee-zee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2013
Subject: I gotta get down...
Stepping out of the SBD zone again and I like another steps..You just can't get any closer to that raw, down and dirty sound that would make you wanna DANCE! Woooooorcester!!!!! GIVE IT A WHIRL MY FRIENDS>Forever Grateful>Forever Dead!!!!!!
Reviewer: kingrandy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 23, 2009
Subject: Great Show
I saw the first two shows of this tour (richmond & greensboro) & the syracyuse show. I really like the playin jams from 82 & 83. I think thats because of the definitive "jumping off" point after the second chorus where it seems the band can take the jam anywhere. If you feel this way as well i suggest you check out richmond 10/8/83 for a really cool playin/crazy fingers & Seattle 8/27/83 for a nice playin/uncle johns. I find myself going back to this tour more than any in the early 80's.. Just a really strong tour in my humble opinion, of course i was only 17 when it was happening and 16 when i saw my first GD shows (Alpine Valley Aug 7 & 8/82)
...peace out
Reviewer: Frosty's Picks - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 21, 2008
Subject: Frosty's Picks for the Hearing Impaired
I have major hearing problems. It’s called tinnitus and for those of you who don’t know it is a constant ringing in your ears. Therefore, it is hard for me to find audience shows that are of good enough quality for me to listen to without doing further damage to my hearing by having to turn up the volume past 5 to even tell what song is being played!! I am not saying anything about these shows except that as a person with major hearing lose, these are some of the shows that I have on my I-Pod. Of course some are better than others. However, I am not giving any of these shows a review. I can always find something good in every show… long as I can hear it!!!! Here is my list for today, 9/20/08:

7.6.84, 10.15.84, 6.19.91,
7.18.89, 6.21.84, 9.6.85,
10.12.84, 10.12.83, 11.1.85,
8.24.85, 7.31.82, 6.25.92,
8.5.89, 10.31.83, 6.26.92,
10.8.84, 12.5.81, 8.30.85,
11.5.85, 6.26.84, 8.3.82,
6.8.80, 4.3.84, 8.10.82,
3.14.81, 12.26.80, 4.15.83,
4.18.82, 10.31.91, 9.2.85,
10.14.83, 4.2.90, 4.30.90,

Please let me know if you have any show suggestions that compare to these in quality of sound. Send suggestions to
Reviewer: LarryBird33 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 9, 2007
Subject: Wormtown rocks
Rippin show. great set list. The boys rarely disappointed at the Centrum. Crowds were always electric. I remember doors getting popped. Where does the time go?
Reviewer: Valley Vista - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2006
Subject: Another perspective
I get a kick out of reading reviews on this site. As varied as the subject matter.

I saw my first show on New Year's 1980 (far too dosed, I might add) and saw 59 more of them - most in 81, 82, 83 - before my last show in 1988. I saw the Greeks in 81 and 82, the Hult shows in Eugene in 84, six New Year's shows, the Aladdin Hotel in Vegas (81 and 83), Warfield, Golden Hall, and, well, too many to list here. I was a hardcore tape collector (1200+ tapes at last count - about 20 years ago!) with an always busy "tape exchange" and direct connections on the east and west coast. I knew every riff, every solo, every mistake, every breakout, every anything during those years.

Anyway my point is that at each of these shows somebody felt they saw "it", and they most surely did. Almost every tape I made for somebody had "it" somewhere on it. The live Dead experience is entirely personal and based on infinite stimuli. There is a certain element of futility attached to the whole excercise, although it does provide a fantastic perspective on the whole affair.

For what it's worth, I like this Scarlet-Fire and remember when the tapes arrived liking it from the get go. Peak? End all be all? Best ever? Mechanical? Yes! No! It simply is whatever you hear and whatever you feel, end of story!

Personally I LOVE the Scarlet-Fire from 12-26-81...I like the ambience of the audience tapes, the energy that night (first night of an excellent run IMO), but not sure there are ten people out there who would agree. There are better according to all criteria, but that one I LIKE. So be it!
Reviewer: NotQuiteintheWayYet - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 3, 2006
Subject: It's an OK, mechanical Scarlet/Fire
Sorry, bu I disagree with most of Mallard's comments. I got on the bus in early 70 at the Fillmore East, with a bunch of friends, and i don't think any of us would put this Scarlet/Fire anywhere near the top. Phil sounds bored and uninterested, Jerry sounds mechanical, and there is no real interaction between Jerry and Brent--they might mimmick eachother here and there, but they don't build off eachother at all and they never really mesh. Jerry has more than a few off notes in Scarlet and the jam is rather uninspiring and repetitive, wihtout changes in accent, attack, or intonation in the repeated riffs. The transition to Fire is hardly a transition. Sure there are some quick riffs, and some intersting ones, but not that many truly unique and interesting ones. I am a musician, this just ins't that interesting to me musically either.

I'd take most decent 76 or 77 Scarlet/Fires over this. I'd even prefer an 80, say Fox 11-30 just as an example.

I think late 70s sound was usually much bigger than mid 80s. 77 is about as far from a garage band as you can get--they are improvisational together as a unit in ways mechanically precise non-garage bands could never be. By 82 they got into more of a shuffle and while sometimes mechanically more precise, I never went to a show with the hope of hearing something mechanically precise. Much of the 80s sound like a band trying to put together repeatable decent formula performances, with some train wrecks and a few very nice shows here and there.

The rest of this show has a few nice parts, but does start to fall apart seriously after Scarlet/Fire
Reviewer: Bigmallardduck - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 2, 2006
Subject: Very Well Known Scarlet/Fire
To Very Lazy,

Of course I was kidding as far as "no other S/F will do". I love them all. But I was just trying to put into perspective the perfection; (musically, vocally, and energetically) of this particular version. And truthfully, at least with the many DH I know going back to 71', they agree that this is without question, even for the Dead at their best, way beyond what they would consider possible for the boys. Just listen to it. And better yet, if you are a musician, transpose it. It's almost obscene how perfect it is. Just unusually superb. The rest of the show, however, the band returns to themselves again (and from then on, only to show a very tiny portion of that same magic, in very brief moments.... perhaps in the Spring of 87' and the Summer of 89'). And yes, I truly believe that they reached the summit on this night. The perfect balance was there. The 70's had the high energy and element of surprise, but the band still had that "garage band" kind of sound, and the musicianship of the band was far more simplistic and "loose". In the 80's, their musicianship and compositional abilities were in full bloom and their sound was clean, refined and "big". Like comparing a 5 piece concerto to a full blown symphony. During the 83' fall tour (the S/F at the Centrum in particular), the band had the best of both worlds. The energy, and surprise factor improvisationally (the 70's), and that big refined symphonic sound and serious leap in musicianship (the 80's). Go backward or forward from that point, and you have one or the other, but not both. But don't get me wrong, I love and enjoy ALL the shows. So, enough of my rambling.
Reviewer: verylazylightning - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 15, 2006
Subject: Yes, A Remarkable Scarlet Fire BUT.....
I was drawn to these comments of this show
made by BigMallardDuck:

"On that night during that pair of songs, the Grateful Dead reached their highest peak... Truly, it would all be gradually downhill from that night and those two songs onward. Trust me, I witnessed it first hand.
In all honesty, once you listen to this Scarlet/Fire a few times, you will get very spoiled, and no other version will do. This (at least among those who have spanned the decades) is pretty much common knowledge and without dispute. "

So, if I understand correctly, precisely at
that moment the Dead peaked, and it was ALL
downhill from there? No other version will do???
And this is common knowledge and WITHOUT DISPUTE?

Bizarre. As for common knowledge, I've been
a Deadhead since 1973, talked with thousands of
other Deadheads and I've never heard anyone echo
this opinion. Nor would any Deadhead I've ever
met say their opinion of a show is "without
We can "trust you" because you witnessed it first
hand? Uh, what about the other 10,000 at this show, and the untold thousands that have listened
to it since?

Phew? Scary stuff. Must be something wrong with
me, 'cos I listened to this show then went back to
an old University of Alabama show from the '70s and, oddly, was still able to enjoy it.

By your logic anyone listening to this show would
never be able to listen to any other Dead ever again. The whole scene would collapse and the world would consist of musical zombies listening to infinite iterations of this Scarlet/Fire!

Or maybe you were just kiddin'.....
Reviewer: Mr. Charlie - Lambertville - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 15, 2006
Subject: Can you say Wheaties?
This is a barn burner top to bottom!
Reviewer: CastleIsland - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 14, 2006
Subject: Fond Memory
Front row near center for this one, and you get a much different sound there. Stage amps only; the stadium PA speakers are almost behind you.

Was at WPI then, and a bunch of us camped out for tickets for 2-3 days, taking turns.

First set beats the hell out of the second set...
Reviewer: early 80's meltdown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2005
Subject: Right On Double Dose
Wish I was partyin' w/ you guys at this show but I was 14 little to young. Hit it hard 5 years later at Alpine to the finish. I've said it before glad I got to see what I did but always felt I missed my favorite years obviously the 77's are great but, I'am really hung up on 80-85 specifically 83-84 that would of been a blast. Anyway I've zeroed in on 83 for years and bottom line on this show from open untill Scarlet>Fire(which I love beginning of this Scarlet) the show smokes and is equal to 15th but after that it does fall apart and get a little weak.The I Need A Miracle stuff sometimes gets a little drawn out and boring and its silly to compare this with post space St. Steven.Jerry was feeling no pain on the 15th cduring space break thats for sure and maybe not enogh here.So in my opinion Crazycatpeekin states the obviouis. Your very lucky to have hit that 83 tour as hard as you did w/your buddy's. I know my friends and I would of been dying at those shows Big Daddy Jerry tearing it up 1983 style. Iam so glad I got to see lots of 89 esp. Alpine 2 years in a row not bad.
Double Dose did you hit Popular Creek summer 1983? one time 2-night shot. Pretty cool outdoor small ampitheater near my house. Iam sure that was nuts as well.
Reviewer: matrixport - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2005
Subject: Good start, sloppy finish
Sound is very good, and Phil is prevalent in the mix in a good way, but...

No diss intended for anyone who attended the show, but after a great first set and a solid Scarlet/Fire, this show falls apart pretty badly. The climax of Truckin' is a disaster and the end of Wharf Rat just peters out into a jarring INAM segue. Bobby's voice is pretty well shot by the end of the show. All in all, I have to agree with Crazycatpeekin that there are better shows from this year to DL...
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 30, 2005
Subject: For the guy that says this is not as good as 10/15
Bro I was at both shows and this was in the top 5 of the 70 or so shows I have seen. The music is unequaled, Big RR, Ramble on rose, there was something in the air that night and the half dozen guys I went with agreed this was one of the best they had ever seen and I saw most of the Spring, Summer, Fall '83. The Scarlet>Fire is sick. It was a rowdy, sweaty, hallucenogenic crowd - a memory which will always stand alone...
Reviewer: crazycatpeekin - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 15, 2005
Subject: not as good as 10 15 83
the week before in hartford was the best show of the run.

the same tapers caught both shows, so i have no complaints about the quality of the aud... it's tight.

without being a total kill-joy and pointing out all the stuff that doesn't work for me (this is just my opinion), suffice it to say the whole second set suffers from moments of really lackadaisical, sluggish play which take away from the whole.

the scarlet>fire is the highlight, with a driving scarlet jam and despite jerry stumbling into the opening of fire, it's a pretty rocking version.

the uncle john's>playin' has moments, but uncle john's is loose and rushed... it feels unfocused. the playin' is quick, and the jam after is fine... basic noodling.

the truckin' intro out of space and the truckin' climax are both weak, imho. the intro almost turns into a bouncy GDTRFB-type jam, but they more or less just stop that in its tracks and start truckin' with no lead-in... they never get a groove going. they try to make up for this with vocal gymnastics, but it's clear they're just having a messy night.

and they totally blow the truckin' climax... bobby tries to pull them together for the big build, but it's just not happening. they are all over the place.

the wharf rat has some real soul...
i need a miracle is great, it fits the energy of the night... sort of bluesy and careless... like the cc ryder in set 1

don't bother to DL -- there are so many better shows out there... or DL set 1 -- it's tight. but set 2 is commonplace.

get 10 15 83 -- it's an absolutuely stunning night, in every way a far superior show.

3 for the aud
2.5 for the playing.
Reviewer: chief boabab - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2005
Subject: a fiery precocious gem!
Who knew! an early 80s show that rocks so hard - and swings so sweet... I guess with the right kind of ears you can hear where the 70s Dead stops kicking so hard and the more twee ethereal 80s dead starts.

Whay hasn't been mentioned is that the Keys on this show are some sort of wonderful. There is some seriously smoking fills here, Brent is a legend and is completely underrated in IMHO.

Anyway... brass tacks the playing is spot on here, there are some mike troubles here and there with Bobby dropping out briefly, but generally the mix is tight as Billy's Hi-Hat and Phil lines are as strong and as sweet as they ever got. The sounds quality of this show is crystal and magnificent. It must be said that there is a certain swagger to the first set, a assured arrogance in the bands playing, perhaps some bolivian friend shook out a generous dose of talc before they took to the stage, who knows... but the 'fcuk you' attitude of CC Rider is downright mean... and they 'messy' guitar solo with overblown reverb in the middle is awesome! Its like your in a ghetto blues bar - and whats more i believe that it was a Bobby solo! (correct me if i'm wrong) thats right folks a Bobby solo that doesn't sounds like choked ice cream van music but actually kicks ass!

The show gets better and better with each listen... this is some savagely tight playing here!

Finally, i'm working on a vulcan mind meld type of thing - why? - because i want to go to this show and extracting old deadheads memories may be the best way. Imagine that you can downloading some ones dead show experiences from the net... of course there'd be the normal information -

for example: George Bradley, FOB, 3 beers, 100mg California Sunshine, 3 joints, some drop outs in the middle of dark star, cuts out in middle of space when GB went to toilet, encore /parking lot and a girl called Cindy.

anyway i digress... download this show or else the world will be destroyed in two days... you've been warned!
Reviewer: BustedFlat - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 13, 2005
Subject: often overlooked tunes
I agree with the reviewers below. There are are great versions of old favorites, to be sure. But I want to comment on some tunes that rarely get singled out for honorable mention. The CC Rider from this show blows me away. I normally can take or leave this song at best, but on this night it simply smokes! I will say the same for Big Railroad Blues; just terrific. This show is certainly worth the download.
Reviewer: Worcester Matt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 10, 2005
Subject: Get this one
It's true. Silberman's is one of the finest audience recordings I have ever heard. Posterity's sake makes the violation of taping rules excusable.

This show is worth it for just the 30-minute scarlet/Fire alone, but a nice Wharf Rat, a rocking Miracle, a Music opener, among others make it a must have.
Reviewer: akmusher - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 26, 2005
Subject: Worcester 10/21/83
My first show, my first time dosed, what can I say...
Sticking to the music, I am of the opinion that a few shows in 83 rank as the strongest for that decade, even with Garcia's escalating "persian" habit. Also, the scene had not yet grown too big so crowd were still peaceful, mostly utilizing psychedelics for transportational purposes.
Highlights- I remember a great thundering sound to start it off as I began my own personal blast off. (Phil's lead in to Music Never Stopped) I already owned Blues for Allah so I knew this one. Thinking to myself, everyone around me is boogying as hard as they can? I guess this is what I'm supposed to do. That's pretty much what I did for the rest of the night. A very tight first set (most songs are 10-11 minutes long) and a long and spacey scarlet / fire. The Uncle John's -> Playing also stands out.
One point- someone should upload the Silberman recording of 10/21. He was one of the 1st to use a digital recorder on tour and had seats in the 4th row! His recording is absolutely the cleanest modern aud that I have heard so far. 4 stars because there is a better recording.
Reviewer: sheikyerbouti - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 16, 2004
Subject: This one of the best shows of the 80's
beautiful fall day my best recollection of this was getting kicked out twice (once for a bogus ticket)a door got banged open and we ran in I was so overjoyed I felt that I too should share some of this good kharma and opened a door and got kicked right out again one sec I was in the next I was out... the door flew open again and abt 30 of us bolted in it was quick enough to catch all the guys I had just been with they all howled just then lights dropped absolutely the best music every came on it was ripping loser cumberland big rr all of the first set is on fire... remember thinking UVM was a better scarlet fire than this while on the floor however this is one of the longest and best fires they have ever played - will stack this against any.... crisp new england fall night space truckin miracle all rip this is far more than 5 stars for watching listening too and vibewise.....
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